A collection of short stories; a few snapshots on our follies, idiosyncrasies and humanism, and their collective effects on the entire civilisation and the ecosystem, including the protagonists.The plots, each a bit different from the usual ones and each other, unfold to show us the power of random acts of love, kindness and co-operation and its possibility to uplift the humankind and our individual spirits. The stories seek to empower readers, irrespective of their backgrounds or identification, with positive messages and ever-evolving meaning of life. In The Rape Victim, Seema, our protagonist, disembarks from a Suburban EMU at Barasat at night on her way to Nilganj to attend her friend's marriage. What transpires next will altogether be a different and empowering experience for the readers. In Just For A Boy, Simran, a middle-class, class-IV drop-out, is wedded young to a family of rich agriculturists. When she is pregnant with a girl child she is asked to undergo an abortion. Will she follow the diktat of her new family? What follows is a tale of inspiration and grit, against a fatalistic, distorted, patriarchal and pastoral value-system. In Agnostic Vs Godman, Arnab, a revenue officer, helps a callous but devout factory clerk overcome ignominy from his colleagues and higher-ups, with a simple lie. What happens afterwards shocks and shatters Arnab. Can he reconcile with his conscience for the lie? In The Patriot, Arnab, who had enlisted himself with the Territorial Army, is embodied by the army and instructed to report at the Kalaikunda Air-Base during an Indo-Pak war. He is elated for the opportunity to serve his country against intruders. But what he experiences shakes his very notions about Country and Patriotism. Can he be at peace with himself? Ranjan Basu, in The Teacher, arrives at Gopalpur, a small hamlet, to attend his childhood friend Ashok's marriage. On his way he meets Rajat Chowdhury, a high-school physics teacher, who accompanies him and engages him in a lively conversation, even protecting him from a scorpion. But what he learns from Ashok later on, shocks him and leaves him speechless. Brahman, in The Moment, is a libertarian, who has a really empathic and compatible wife in Adhyatma. He receives a grudging acceptance from Adhyatma for his leaving home to seek deeper answers to some pestering questions and the collective suicidal tendencies of men. He hikes to the Dooars forests, North Bengal, with his haversack and camera, trying to find answers. A story of liberation and freedom. Manav, an established research scientist, is dissatisfied. He has a secure future but deeply misses a soul-mate. While he is in England, his good friend Clara introduces him to Ayesha, a clinical psychiatrist. Clara knows and understands Manav, but often his chain of thoughts and logic elude her. Would Manav be able to find a good soul-mate ultimately? Would Ayesha and Clara help him? A story of liberation amidst negativity and pessimism. Manas, one among a minuscule of government staff – sincere, punctual, and upright, discusses the virtues of old values with Sulata, his colleague. Unknown to them a third entity follows Manas like shadow, eavesdrops into and follows their conversations. Why? The Illusion Of Life is truly an illusory reality with a double twist. Ishratkahn, a bright learner from an advanced extraterrestrial civilisation, is sent to the Earth to understand about the commonalities of life everywhere in the universe and a particular life, against the backdrop of a larger group dynamics at play, as an ordinary human being. While on earth she meets one of her own kind. But in response to a threat when they flee from earth they discover another, altogether different fate.
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